If you throw food waste in the trash, it’ll start to smell and ruin the air inside your home. Garbage disposal makes getting rid of food scraps very easy, but only if you know how to use it correctly. A misused garbage disposal can malfunction and cost you expensive repairs.

Here’s a list of dos and don’ts to help you avoid any future garbage disposal mishaps:

What you can and can’t put in it

The first rule of garbage disposal care is not to throw in everything that it can grind. Modern high-power garbage disposals can crush most types of food, but this doesn’t mean your home’s plumbing can deal with it, or your municipal waste system can handle everything you send down the drain.

Here’s what you can and can’t put in your garbage disposal:


Go through the manufacturer’s manual. Each garbage disposal has a different grinding capacity.

Most fruits and vegetables are safe to throw in the garbage disposal, provided you get rid of the fruit pits first.

Throwing the rinds of citrus fruits such as oranges and lemon in the garbage disposal can help clean it and smell fresh.

Wet canned pet food can be dumped in the garbage disposal after ensuring that there aren’t any big chunks left.


Banana peels can wrap around the grinding teeth of your garbage disposal and cause it to malfunction.

The fibrous elements of corn husks can jam the garbage disposal.

Grease can clog the drain and create a gooey mess in the garbage disposal.

Large bones can ruin the insides of your garbage disposal.

Pasta and rice are soft foods, but they’re unsafe to throw in the garbage disposal as they can become sticky and clog the drain.

How to clean and maintain it

You don’t need to invest heavily in a garbage disposal cleaner to clean and maintain it. Follow these simple tips to keep it in good shape for a long time:


Use dish soap: This can help eliminate the grease and grime stuck on the walls of your garbage disposal drain. Just squeeze a little amount into your disposal and run cold water through it for a few minutes.

Always run cold water after use: This helps flush out any remaining debris and break down grease or fat that may have accumulated in it.


Use chemical cleaners: Harsh cleaners can ruin the corrode the pipe and plumbing of your garbage disposal.

Run hot water: Grinding with hot water can cause grease clogs.

If your garbage disposal shows signs of wear and tear, reach out to us at Pro Serve Plumbing. We offer kitchen and bathroom plumbing services in Fort Worth. For more information, visit our website.